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Better health for children, young people and their families

The Government today set out a new vision for the health of children and young people in an engagement document, Achieving Equity and Excellence for Children. This forms a detailed supplement to the ongoing consultation for the white paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley launched the engagement document, designed to seek the views of professionals and the wider community on how the new system should work, alongside a thorough review of children's services in the NHS by Professor Sir Ian Kennedy.

Achieving Equity and Excellence for Children sets out a vision in which:
• Services will be personalised to individual needs and appropriate for children, young people and their families
• Age-specific information should become routinely available and accessible
• Children, young people and their families will be at the centre of design and delivery of services, facilitated by local professionals
•  Improvements will be measured in terms of outcomes for children and young people rather than just time-focused targets.

Andrew Lansley said:

“In our new vision for the NHS, and in preparing for our public health white paper later this year, we are determined to provide for children and young people as an essential and integral part of delivering better health outcomes.

“Sir Ian Kennedy's review, published today, has revealed the scale of the issues facing the health service. It tells us important things about the lack of effective, integrated and responsive services we have inherited. Sir Ian reminds us just how important the start of life is for children and young people's future physical and mental development.

“We need to act urgently to protect our most vulnerable, not just look after those who know their way around the system. That's why today we are publishing an unique engagement document - Achieving Equity and Excellence for Children - which will ensure children's needs are firmly embedded in the mainstream of service provision.

“Our vision for the future of the health service will put more power in the hands of patients and the doctors and nurses who know and treat them. Outcomes for children need improvement at many levels of the health service: at a national level, through cross-government efforts and at a local level, through the front-line professionals who deliver that care.

“The experts on this are not in Whitehall - they're in the home or at a GP surgery, hospital or clinic.

“We are today ensuring that, informed by Sir Ian's report and in line with the new focus in the white paper on patient-centred care, we shape the future of children and young people's services to meet their needs more effectively by improving health outcomes to be amongst the best in the world, through more devolved, locally integrated service provision.

“We welcome views on the action needed locally and nationally to make this vision a reality.”

The engagement document Achieving Equity and Excellence for Children can be downloaded at: